Differentiate a Joomla 1.5 From a Joomla 1.6 Website

A some point in time you’ll probably be visiting a website and wondering whether it was built in Joomla 1.5 or Joomla 1.6. In this short blog I’ll explain 5 different ways how you can tell them apart.

1. The meta generator tag

This is the easiest way to see if a website was built using Joomla 1.5 or Joomla 1.6. On a Joomla 1.5 website the generator tag reads “Joomla! 1.5 – Open Source Content Management” while the generator tag for Joomla 1.6 reads “Joomla! 1.6 – Open Source Content Management“. But what if the webmaster has cleared the generator tag by adding $this->setGenerator(null); to the index.php template file (for example as a safety feature)?

2. Administrator

By going to http://www.domainname.org/administrator/ you can view the login screen for the Joomla! Administrator. The login screen for Joomla 1.6 looks totally different from the one in Joomla 1.5 which makes this a nice distinguishing feature. But what if the webmaster has prevented access to the Joomla! Administrator, for example using a .htpasswd login?

3. Adding ?tp=1 to the URL

In Joomla 1.6 the option to show the module positions by appending ?tp=1 to the URL is disabled by default. By appending ?tp=1 to the URL, you can see if the module positions are shown (most likely Joomla 1.5) or not shown (most likely Joomla 1.6). But what if either the Joomla 1.5 webmaster has disabled ?tp=1 via .htaccess or the Joomla 1.6 webmaster has enabled it via ‘Joomla! 1.6 Administrator Template Manager Options Templates Preview Module Positions‘?

4. Function keepAlive()

In Joomla 1.6 an extra Javascript function named keepAlive() is added to the source code. So, if this function is present in the source code, you can be relatively sure you are dealing with a Joomla 1.6 website.

5. Meta right tag

Finally the is the meta rights tag. This tag wasn’t present in Joomla 1.5, but it is present in Joomla 1.6. Which means that if the tag is present in your source code, you’re most likely dealing with a Joomla 1.6 website.

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